Kingfield selectmen get school budget proposal

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KINGFIELD — Superintendent Susan Pratt presented selectmen Monday night with a proposed $9.37 million budget for Regional School Unit 58 for 2017-18.

It is $181,603 more than this fiscal year, which ends June 30, she said.

The Maine Department of Education has not given the district the total subsidy it will receive, but based on anticipated revenues, Pratt calculated that Kingfield’s share will go down $7,60, while Avon’s will go up $391, Strong’s will go up $4,921, and Phillips will go up $9,665. The amounts are based on the property valuation set by the state.

“The fact that the budget is up only a quarter of a percent is incredible,” Selectman Heather Moody said.

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The warrant for the budget will include a new article asking voters to set aside $180,000 to start at capital reserve account for major projects.

“You have reserve accounts in your municipal budgets, and we need to start saving for some of these projects in our district, too,” Pratt said.

The RSU 58 budget hearing is set for Tuesday, May 30, at Mt. Abram High School in Salem Township.

The budget referendum for Avon, Kingfield Strong and Phillips is June 13.

Pratt also explained that the budget includes the first year’s payment on a $1.2 million state-backed loan to make state-mandated improvements at Mount Abram High School and Phillips Elementary School.

RSU 58 voters will go to their town polling stations on Tuesday, April 25, to decide whether to approve the loan.

Administrative Assistant Leanna Targett noted that a new Kingfield Days planning committee has organized. The town has approved funding each year for the mid-July celebration, but last year’s committee disbanded.

Targett said former committee Chairman Dian Christen has offered to assist the new committee with organization details. Money remaining from the 2016 bicentennial celebration will go back into the Celebrations Account.

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